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If your days are anything like mine, it feels like the alarm goes off and it’s 900 miles per hour for the rest of the day.   If you manage to squeeze in a 5 minute lunch and GOD forbid a bathroom break, it feels like you’re winning.   Adding one more thing to the proverbial […]

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Two Sides to Every Improvement

There are 2 sides to every improvement. Whether you are in full swing and have your whole factory making improvements on a daily  basis, or you’re just getting started.  Here are some considerations with respect to having your people making improvements. Let’s kick this off by defining what “improvement”  means.  There is what you may […]

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Are you solving problems?

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You’re not lean until you’re visual

You’ll likely hear all kinds of terms that generally mean the same thing. Visual control, visual management, make it visual etc. And like so many principles that we learn from the Japanese manufacturing sector there tends to be a surface meaning, then a much broader and more powerful underlying principle. On the surface when we […]

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Target Conditions

So you have officially declared “we are a lean company”.  In a nutshell, this means that you have set your business off in the direction of continuous improvement through the elimination of waste. In the beginning this is quite easy to do, there are labels to be printed, old messes to get cleaned up, shadow […]

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Coordinating is harder than doing

If you’re the owner of a manufacturing business. You have probably been the last one out of the shop and as you’re turning off the lights and shutting everything down, you see your finished product sitting by the shipping door. You look at it and think to yourself, “it’s five pieces of wood put together […]

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The value added improvement – Impact?

At the heart of lean manufacturing, it’s all about eliminating waste through continuous improvement. So this means we should be looking at every single process, every single day with an eye for making it better. A great guideline is to work towards making everything easier, better, faster, cheaper. And in that order. But there is […]

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If it’s easy, why does it seem so hard !

I would be willing to bet if I asked you to head into the shop on a Saturday afternoon and build me one or two of the things your factory produces whether it be cabinets, furniture, or custom millwork, what you make doesn’t really matter.  And probably just the thought of going in with no […]

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Genchi Genbutsu

You wouldn’t have to study lean manufacturing very long before you came across the word Gemba. Japanese phrases are very common in the lean world mostly because Lean has been popularized by Toyota in the Toyota production system which originated in Japan. Gemba is simply where the work happens. To find the actual Gemba, you […]

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Ever wonder why your business isn’t doing as well as it should?

Ever wonder why your business isn’t doing as well as it should? I don’t think it’s possible to be responsible for any business department or work cell and not have the question why come up at least a few times a day. why did that machine break? Why won’t people listen to me? Why aren’t we […]

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